January 30, 2006
Product Naming: The Emotional Power of a Name
I don't know when marketers first started to consider the emotional connection of a product name or service. I do know that I believe in the emotional bonding power of a name in most instances.
It's especially important for an aspirational brand such as a women's or men's fragrance, an upscale automobile, and sports shoes and apparel. Think NIKE Air Jordan.
That's why I'm not surprised that Taiwan is rejecting the gift of two panda bears whose names were selected by the Chinese government. "Tuan Tuan" and "Yuan Yuan", which were the winners among 10 pairs of names that 100 million Chinese voted on. The pair of words refers to the Chinese word tuanyuan, which means reunion, according to an article today in the Taipei Times.
It's also no surprise that the Taiwanese are adamantly rejecting the panda bear names Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, since the Taiwanese do not aspire to be reunited with China.
Since the panda offering was part of an effort to build support for uniting the island of Taiwan with the communist mainland, I wonder who the Chinese government was hoping the names would appeal to - the Taiwanese, or the Chinese?
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